MUCH has been made of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on sport and rugby in particular.

For many players, they often referred to the empty stadiums and lack of atmosphere impacting performance in post-match interviews.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that Marco Mama, released by Worcester Warriors in the summer, has retired from the game after a 12-year career.

He missed out on playing in front of the Sixways crowd one final time due to the restrictions on crowds in the stadium.

"It would have been lovely to have finished in front of the fans and say goodbye," said Mama.

The club held an end of season party to bid farewell to a number of long-serving members of the squad after the final game of the 2020/21 campaign was cancelled due to an outbreak of Covid within the Gloucester Rugby.

"Whilst the final day event was nice, seeing some of the fans and old faces, it was not as good as playing in front of them one more time," he added.

"Overall, It wasn’t actually a difficult decision (to retire). It was not one that happened immediately but over a period of time, it was probably something I felt was best for me as a person.

"It’s a decision I feel very positive about right now, I am quite happy.

" I look back at the experiences I had, the great moments I had at both clubs, I look back on them with great fondness.

"I was very appreciative of the moments that came and I will enjoy looking back at those great memories.

"And I just want to thank everyone at both Bristol and Worcester, the fans, the players I played with, for all contributing to my career."

Mama admitted, however, the last year was not his most enjoyable and did actually contribute to his decision to step away from the game.

"It was a season that contributed to the retirement, I guess," the Zimbabwean said.

"Rugby is a very different game without fans and the atmosphere they create.

"Not to say Covid was why I retired but it certainly made me question things a lot more than I perhaps would normally.

"I guess one of the main reasons for retiring was that I wasn’t enjoying life as a rugby player as much as I had done previously."

So, what next for Mama? He is already involved in the property business and boasts a portfolio of four holiday lets.

"The first thing for me is taking a year to assess my options and have a break," he added.

"Spend some time travelling and go home to Zimbabwe and see family.

"I have been involved in property throughout my career and it's something I really enjoy but there are a few ideas I am toying with.

"I am not shutting myself off to anything at the moment."